International Colloquium on “THEATRE AND POPULISM”

International Colloquium “THEATRE AND POPULISM”

International Association of Theatre Critics

Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre

Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi State University of Theatre and Film

Tbilisi, 4-5 October 2017

In modern history and, especially, in recent years “Populism” has become a commonly used term in politics and culture. Might we, therefore, deploy this term to describe political, cultural or everyday life? Is it useful as a descriptor for aesthetic, practical, or socio-political dimensions in our experience? Is there even a precise linguistic definition of the term?

For understanding Populism, researchers often refer to 19th century Russian and American populists, to Ancient Greeks, to the slogan of the French Revolution “Exprimer le peuple,” to present-day politicians such as Le Pen, Trump, Erdogan, and to Brecht’s political theatre. According to Pierre Rosan Vallon, Populism is the ugliest answer to the dysfunctions of democracy: “Le populisme est une forme de réponse – que l’on peut juger mauvaise – aux disfonctionnements de la démocratie.”

With dissonant, contradictory definitions at the core of the phenomenon and with diverse means, possibilities, methods, and resources available for its implementation, we may trace one common feature: that populism functions only if it is targeted to a certain group, stratum, or community of people that can be defined and manipulated. Thus, Populism, like theatre, cannot exist without people, without audience.

The main topic of our 5th International Colloquium launched under the umbrella of the International Association of Theatre Critics and its Georgian Section is “Theatre and Populism.” Topics of interest for papers include but are not limited to:

  • The traps of populism in contemporary theatre
  • Populist cultural policy in theatre of different countries: does it exist?
  • Audience and Populism: please or provoke the audience?
  • Populism as the tool for attracting the audience
  • Narration in performances – truth or lie?
  • Does populist playwriting or aesthetic aspects and clichés of a populist performance exist?

Colloquium will be held in 3 sessions on 4-5 October, 2017.

Participants are kindly asked to forward abstracts (no longer than 200 words) in English to Ms. Lela Ochiauri, Organizing Committee member – teklataia @ yahoo.com Deadline is 10 August 2017. Invitations will be dispatched before 20 August 2017. We would like to emphasize that proposals from different parts of the world are most welcome.

Participants will have at their disposal technical equipment and support of Power Point and DVD presentations.

Oral presentations should not exceed 15 minutes to allow time for discussion.

The working languages of the Colloquium are English and Georgian, with simultaneous translation.

Papers will be published in the special issue of “Centaur” by Tbilisi State University of Theatre and Film. Complete text of the paper (up to 4,000 words in English or French) should be sent in the electronic form no later than October 1, 2017.

The Organizing Committee

Ivan Medenica, Artistic Director at BITEF, Member of Executive Committee of AICT-IATC

Irina Gogoberidze, Member of Executive Committee of AICT-IATC, irenetval @ gmail.com

Lela Ochiauri, Professor at Tbilisi State University of Theatre and film, teklataia @ yahoo.com

Marina (Maka) Vasadze, Director of Publishing House “Centaur”, Tbilisi State University of Theatre and Film

Lasha Chkhartishvili, Director of Modern Georgian Theatre Research Centre